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Fat Joe says Trayvon Martin was “the martyr for change”

▶ Watch Video: Fat Joe says Trayvon Martin was a “martyr for change” in America

It has been a decade since Trayvon Martin was killed, but rapper Fat Joe is hopeful that the Black teen’s death will continue to inspire a fight for justice across the U.S.

“It’s terrible, and it’s sad that this kid had to go so young, but he was like the martyr for change in America,” Fat Joe, whose real name is Joseph Cartagena, told CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan in the CBS Reports special “Trayvon Martin: 10 Years Later.”

Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman fatally shot 17-year-old Martin as he was walking home after buying snacks from a convenience store in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012. At the time, Zimmerman claimed he shot the unarmed teen in self defense during a fight in the gated residential community.

In July 2013, a jury found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in Martin’s death. The acquittal ignited nationwide protests and demands for justice — with many wearing hoodies to represent what Martin had on the night he was killed.

Fat Joe speaks with CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan for the CBS Reports special “Trayvon Martin: 10 Years Later.”

CBS News

“For some reason, injustice and things have been happening to our community forever, but it feels like with Trayvon, it was like, ‘We’re not going for this no more,'” said Fat Joe, dressed in a hot pink hoodie. “And from that step closer, everybody was together, everybody was bonding together. If somebody lost a family member due to police brutality or injustice, they bonded together. If you saw a funeral with somebody, everybody was there together.”

He encouraged communities to continue to come together to demand change.

“People power. That’s what brings awareness. That’s what brings attention,” added Fat Joe as he discussed recent trials for the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Daunte Wright. 

Family members, thought leaders, social activists and others reflect on the fatal 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in the one-hour CBS Reports special “Trayvon Martin: 10 Years Later,” streaming on Saturday, February 26 at 8 p.m. ET on the CBS News app.



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